I eat a lot of salad during the summer, partially because summer produce rocks and partially because I can’t bring myself to turn on the oven–a.k.a the hellfire monster of heat–anymore. Kale has taken over my meals, making me a little green vegan kale monster. I was a doubter at first, but it’s now making regular appearances in my green smoothies, salads, and even sandwiches. These super-healthy greens may be a bitch to prepare, but it’s mucho worth it. It’s hard to complain with all those vitamins, yet only 36 calories per cup.
My basic salad most often includes: greens (*if using kale, marinated for a few hours in homemade vinaigrette), whatever veggies are in the fridge, sunflower seeds (for the crunch), and marinated tofu/tempeh. Here’s a few from the last two months that I’ve been meaning to blog.
This is a salad very loosely based on the BLT salad by Vegan Yum Yum, but I opted to make my own tempeh bacon, substitute extra-virgin olive oil for the Vegan mayo in the dressing, and add shaved carrot instead of icky cherry tomatoes. I mostly just used her method of cutting kale, which includes helpful, high-quality pictures of the process. And I have to say, my version was awesome! My mom said it tasted “gourmet,” whatever that means.
I’m quite proud of this veggie slaw, which consists of shaved carrot, shaved zucchini, boiled corn cut off-the-cob, and boiled edamame (a.k.a soy beans). Because I used no dressing, fresh, in-season corn is a must as it sweetens the entire salad. The zucchini shavings add moisture and the carrot shavings give crunch. This is one dish that proves less is more.
Props to my mom who made this arugula salad (based off a Cooking Light recipe) with onions, white canellini beans, and finely chopped red peppers in a mustard vinaigrette. My parents never have any idea what to cook for me as a vegan, but this salad wasn’t half-bad. While arugula may not be my favorite and the sharp aftertaste of raw onions isn’t my thing, it’s the thought that counts. So thanks, Mom.
*It’s very important to marinate the kale for as long as possible–at least an hour–to allow the kale to soften and absorb the flavors of the vinaigrette. The longer it sits, the better it gets- trust me!